By Hammed Shittu
Security operatives in Kwara State have arrested 144 suspects in connection with the last weekend’s looting of public and private properties in Ilorin while the state government, yesterday, relaxed the 24 hour curfew it imposed on the state capital to between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin yesterday, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun, said that the arrest of the suspects was as a result of combined efforts of security agencies in the state.
Egbetokun, who confirmed that two government warehouses and lots of privately owned properties were attacked by the hoodlums, said that the attacks were well coordinated and led by some hardened criminals.
He said that large quantities of looted properties have also been recovered, including two vehicles used to cart away loot.
Egbetokun called on those who still have looted properties in their possession to voluntarily surrender them, adding that such people would not be prosecuted.
The commissioner of police also directed that looted properties could be submitted at various religious centres like mosques, churches and even residences of community heads.
He said that arrest of suspects is a continuous process, adding that, “as we are here, more arrest and recovery of looted properties are still being made.”
Meanwhile, The Governor of Kwara State, Mr. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, has reviewed the 24 hour curfew imposed on the state to between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm after a security council meeting with heads of security agencies on Sunday.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaye, reads: “A review of the situation in the Ilorin metropolis suggested a relative calm. The meeting observed that the objective of the curfew has largely been achieved as the misguided elements that looted and vandalised public and private properties have been pushed back and normalcy restored.
“Consequently, the security council resolved to relax the curfew from 24 hours to between 6p.m. and 8 a.m. daily until further notice. This means members of the public can move around between 8 a.m. and 6p.m. daily within the metropolis.
“Even so, the government will continue to review the situation and take decisions that are in the best interest of the state.”